This new new sitcom, Animal Practice, feels like it’s out of the 1970’s. Can it attract strong enough ratings to survive or will it be cancelled instead? Is the show worth watching — no matter what era it’s from?
Animal Practice takes place in a New York animal hospital where the four-legged patients seem to be running the place. A top veterinarian, Doctor George Coleman (Justin Kirk), has a gift with animals but doesn’t relate as well to humans — including his ex-girlfriend and boss, Dorothy Crane (JoAnna Garcia Swisher). Others in the cast include Tyler Labine, Bobby Lee, Kym Whitley, Betsy Sodaro, and Crystal the capuchin monkey.
Is this new sitcom worth your time? Here’s what some critics have to say:
NY Times: “[This show] presents what it hopes are the wacky high jinks at a New York animal hospital. In comedy, though, there’s a fine line between wacky and desperate. Animal Practice crosses it early and often.”
NY Daily News: “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) staged a protest against NBC last weekend over the use of a capuchin monkey in this new sitcom. And PETA was right. No monkey should be forced to perform in a sitcom as lame as this one.”
THR: “Animal Practice is messy, and if you don’t like the monkey, well, you’re probably not coming back. Then again, you don’t really know what can happen in another four or five episodes (which might be asking a lot in a crowded television universe). But if you squint a little and hope for less of Crystal riding on a toy ambulance with a siren, maybe the actors, and the material, can start to stand out.”
Newsday: “[The cast] all just happen to be trapped in a show that can’t yet decide whether it wants to be Community or B.J. and the Bear. That’s probably because the network can’t decide either. Animal Practice is stamped with NBC’s new mandate that broader is better — or at least more profitable — while recognizing that too much slapstick (or monkey) courts self-parody. Conversely, too much ironic banter that smirks at the conventions of TV comedy risks another Arrested Development, albeit with animals. So welcome to the middle ground, where a monkey steals the scenes and most of the laughs.”
TIME: “For now, the diagnosis I’d give Animal Practice is much like the way Dr. Coleman sees his patients. The animals are fine — it’s the humans who can use fixing.”
Washington Post: Animal Practice is a forgettable show sloppily built from comedy cliches, but it can be fixed by firing most of the cast and rebuilding the show around the monkey. That would be the hit of the season.”
USA Today: “One really doesn’t know what to wish for the actors: success, which could make them financially secure, or failure, which would free them to find better jobs. The monkey, at least, will be fine either way. Which is the one good thing about building a show around a monkey.”
What do you think? Have you seen Animal Practice sitcom on NBC? If so, will you watch it again? Would you recommend it to a friend or co-worker?